The Eighth Project

Coptic/Soviet Project

I see Coptic fabrics as a text which may be edited, supplemented or even distorted. a text that has several meanings and several lives.
In their works, Copts have been reproducing ancient Greek symbols and decorative elements which, in turn, had been actively borrowed from Ancient Egyptians. Being the first Christians, Copts endued these images with sacred meanings. Screens were used for secret worshipping, embroidered panels in clothes served as identity signs, symbols of the new creed, impermeable for the profane.

My works are a fifth if not sixth life of Coptic fabrics. It is important for me to convey their immaterialness, close to disappearance: magnified half-erased fragments, printed in serigraphy on silk or paper, are immaterial in comparison to texturized, colored, embroidered Coptic fabrics.

Supplemented with hand-made embroidery, this project may be a pattern for an unfinished needle work – or, conversely, a palimpsest with some pieces lost.

It feels very organic to introduce Soviet insignia into the text of Coptic fabrics. the Soviet Empire widely drew upon the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, creating its own – already archaic – style. An infinite sequence of adaptations and reincarnations.

Erarta, London, 2008

Exposition in CCI Fabrika, Moscow, 2008